Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    May 10, 2013 11:30am-12:01pm PDT

11:30 am
and moving on to the group of criminalist who do the dna analysis, the quantity fiction and amplification. the increase in the numbers that we have is going to increase the amount of cases that we can turn around at the crime lab. this year we are hoping to add to our staff again by four criminalist. the polls that we have for the crime lab we are going to add two supervisors and criminalist and continue the regime that we have with three individuals that we have 3 entry level criminalist and they can move on to the next step and do independent casework. i know
11:31 am
some of the commissioners have been out to our laboratory, one of the things we have done to increase capacity, we are adding bench space so criminalist can have their own work spaces. when we have new people come in they need space to work. adding space in the lab is going to make it easier. we are going to convert it to laboratory space. we've partnered with the department of public works for a new building project that is going allows allow us to have a central location for services and we are continually trying to expand technology for efficiency services. we had an instrument this large with a
11:32 am
monitor that you would see on a desktop, not similar to what you have in front of you now. the speed and quality of the thing is 10-20 than this older instrument that we have present. this last slide again, partnership with community, what we do as members of the police department is important to people at the crime lab as well. last year, one of the women who work in dna lab came forward and said there is a walk being organized by san francisco women against rape, a fundraiser awareness walk. i think we should get a team together and go out there. that's what we did. we've done that for the last two years. and the response was big. the reason i put this in here is
11:33 am
that the folks that you see here and i wish i did a better job of representing them this evening. these folks could work in any different enter enterprise with a scientific training that they have and with many degrees that is you are pass the qualifications where they work. they have the opportunity everyday to have a positive effect on someone's life and that's just demonstrated through this slide here. >> thank you very much. >> i know you have been at the crime lab for about two years now? i have to say this issue came before the commission back in 2010 and that became the pet
11:34 am
project of former commissioner jim hammer as a former prosecutor and we heard of a backlog. if there is a backlog at this point? >> i can answer that question. i have to tell you on behalf of these individuals because i know they would want me to tell you this that defining a backlog is a difficult thing to do in this industry. among different labs they have different definitions of what a backlog is. the national institute of justice says that a backlog is any case that has not had evidence submitted to a laboratory in the last ninety days. in the sexual assault
11:35 am
case the oldest we have is from march 13th. >> we have a csi audience. i know your chemist have taken a long time with peer review and there is checks and balances and efficacy and in fact there is lawyers who spend their whole career attacking dna. there is folks to know that these results don't come easily and they have to be solid and there is a requirement about what the match has to be. i want to thank your employees because they are work ends up on the stand and it's a very important piece of evidence. i want to thank your staff for that and thank the chief because in 2010 we had 4 criminalist and in 2013 we have 19. that is a huge huge difference. the public deserves that. there is no reason it should ketime to have
11:36 am
these rape test kits tested and get the suspect as soon as possible. i know that's expensive but that's part of what the police department does and i want to thank you for that change. it's incredible. >> i just want to do have tail on the point that you made which is very strongly to the commissioners in the audience. the crime lab we had in 2010, is not the same crime lab today. that graph doesn't demonstrate all the improvements that have been made out there. with new blood comes new moral and there is a rein invigorated spirit and that comes through with that slide with the participation sf walks and we have a youth
11:37 am
engagement program where we have criminalist having presentations for high school kids who come out, the smart well versed people in the sciences in their schools and we have presentations about that. there are people that are very curious about this and like you said, it is sort of the csi generation and people are very curious about how these things go. we try to be as receptive as we can to try not to disrupt the work flow. when we talk about the backlog, we reached out to several of our bay area partner laboratories to try to garner this information and they are not set up to capture that kind of data and the complexity of the different cases, the nature of the cases being very
11:38 am
straight forward and complex, it's hard to put a target or a number on them. >> thank you very much, captain. you did a great job out there. >> commissioner kingsley. >> sergeant prea. it was excellent. thank you very much. >> you didn't catch me at my best. sorry. >> you did a very fine job. thank you to your staff. i just want to echo the president's recognizing the chief in foresight in making this a priority in terms of increasing the staff at the lab and in supporting the fine work at the lab with this extra staffing and funding. the outsourcing that you reference, what is being outsourced at this time?
11:39 am
>> the outsourcing is part of our backlog strategy which is a two prong approach. first is we have federal backlog production grant money. the nia has given over $400 million for backlog because this is a situation that faces every crime lab. and cases which pose the greatest immediate to public safety including crimes involves violence and cases they we out source are routinely crimes against persons, property crimes, vehicle thefts. we also reluctantly on behalf of the staff out there send sexual assault cases out to our out
11:40 am
source vendor laboratory. we have a system set up in place now where we have a cue for sexual assault cases. we have 9 criminalist in the laboratory doing independent casework. so we get a number of request every week. once that number reaches 9, if these cases can't be immediately assigned they are out source. the strategy behind that is to reduce the amount of time that it takes the get test conducted and turned around. >> what is the difference in the statistics of how much is being outsourced now versus two years ago, for example? is that declining or because the turn around requirement is tightening? >> i think that's what is most telling is the number of capacity and request and our
11:41 am
numbers have increased. being able to use outsourcing as a resource to use that backlog. the laboratory we use is the laboratory while we have two and 13 at the crime lab in our biology unit. they have 20 people assigned just to property crimes and they have another team equally as that can dough crimes against persons. so the amount of work that we can send them, again the amount of turn around time that it takes to complete these cases is reduced significantly. >> captain, there are a lot of people that maybe watching tonight that aren't in the room and on tv and so on, in terms of victims of sexual assault, do they need to go to a particular hospital in order to
11:42 am
have an evidence swab? how does that work or are there particular designated hospitals? >> i want to give you the correct information. officer fox is here to give you that information. >> if they are in county, the sexual response team comes out there and if they are outside of county, they have another county collect that for us. >> the sexual response from other counties will handle the kit in that county that way the victim can be served right there that way they don't need to be transported to san francisco general. sometimes the rapes are reported in the county of residents and not necessarily in the county of occurrence. if they can report
11:43 am
to alameda counties. >> so if they are in san francisco and they are a victim of sexual assault and they are picking up the phone to make a telephone call, they call 9-1-1or they get themselves to? >> they can present in any hospital but we have the kits done at san francisco general. they can go to any hospital. we take them and transport them if need be. we have other ways to getting them there. we are going to do the best for every victim. we do what we can to make them feel as comfortable and safe as possible. >> thank you, the sexual assault victims bill of rights card sounds terrific. i'm wondering if you don't have a copy of it on you if maybe you
11:44 am
can send a few our way? >> i can do that. the san francisco police department, we put that together at the crime lab asking our criminalist for their in put because they have the information. again, it's information gathered out from the police department when it's required or desired the. i can forward those to you. >> the last question has to do with the new building project. can you tell us a little bit more about that. when you anticipate having that up and operational? >> the site is as evans. it's a plan for a 4 story building with a two level parking structure. what will be great
11:45 am
about that building is that it will allow us to centralize all of the forensic services division units in one place. csi, the people who collect evidence the idea who often make often identifications through fingerprints and crime lab. currently we are working with epa to provide information on staffing. we've done participated in a few studies for the traveng traffic impact for gathering information to give them so we can do a test fit that have site to ensure the space we are going to have is a staffing that we project to have a move in. i believe we have construction the project will to have pass a bond in 2014 and if that passes
11:46 am
hopefully the construction will be completed in 2017 and move in for the crime lab and forensic services in 2018. >> thank you, captain. appreciate it. >> you talked a lot about the increase in demand for demand in evidence and the power of the tools to one to help us investigate in this particular crime of sexual assault and holding the individual accountable for this compelling evidence. while sometimes jury's expect. i had a misdemeanor vandalism case where the juror wanted dna and i didn't have dna in that case and had to mrap -- explain it
11:47 am
to the jury. but here with an increase in demand you have to be efficient and prioritize how you use the resources. can you talk to me a little bit more about how you use that piece and make sure that you are able to maximize the capacity? >> yes, the prioritization of request is actually on the lieutenant at the investigative unit. the commander's investigation also can be advised petition in certain instances where cases meet the standard of having an immediate threat to public safety. so the way cases are prioritized again are an immediate threat. that would be like the case that we had last year on 24th street
11:48 am
there was a sexual assault experience. that case received immediate priority. what's important for the commission to understand is that when that happens we have to take one criminalist. this case has to be worked and nothing else. in that particular case we received a tip about a suspect from that series and we took a sample and all of that had been entered and there's no match. but once we had the suspect reference sample and we can match with this evidence sample, the turn around time was a week and we were able to turn that in and captain fox was involved in that and they brought a lot of the police department together to try to
11:49 am
resolve that series. >> maybe captain fox can speak a little bit about how you prioritize from inspectors to lieutenants to make that priority decision. >> i think all important things to say that all sexual assault cases immediately get to the crime lab within 72 hours. that evidence is transported to the crime lab and they go into captain prea and if they reach ten, he out sources it. it's not so common that we want to say stop the presses. we have to say now, we have a suspect, right now in that series cases. we wanted to stop and get them as quick as possible. stop your machines, stop your criminalist and let's get on this, that
11:50 am
would be a priority request from us. all of the sexual assault case is a priority case. they make sure they get from the property to the crime lab and they get assigned to a criminalist right away. by the in nature of this crime these cases are prioritized. these additional criminalist, they are better scheduled, there are so many things that the crime lab has changed, under the leadership of the chief. we build in a prioritization. every single case that we get gets to captain prea and their people. >> that sounds like tremendous progress. was there an effort to look back to make sure that prioritization was back then.
11:51 am
>> it's a very complicate movement and everything has to be in sync. the individuals that we have will plan their weeks out. in 2010 we had a group of criminalist that worked a 4-day 10 hour day and thinking at that time there would be an extra shift to work backlog reduction. what we found last year that wasn't the most efficient way to utilize the personnel that we had. again under chief's administration we changed the schedule of all the criminalist out there so folks are working a 5 day schedule and we get 150 more working days of criminalist in the lab doing the work and we also have staggered start times and the
11:52 am
reason that's important is that we have several instruments that we have different instruments throughout the lab to use amplification to other test. criminalist have to use time ahead, if it takes six hours for a test to be completed. that's not the most efficient manner. i'm impacting the people behind me who may need to use the same instrument. criminalist will move through the different process in different stages. i don't want to call it a balancing act because it sounds like there is no control, but it is a very focused deliberate strategy that every criminalist use so that if i use an instrument for amplification and i have six samples and when my run is complete the next criminalist can move in to do
11:53 am
that. having people work a 5 day schedule with eight hours a day with scattered times, it increases exponentially. >> you did make the distinction with the sa c program, can you talk about a suspect that has been identified, is there different timing or different timetable now for how those cases are handled? >> there is a range because of again the threat to public safety, not having a suspect identified. in sexual assault cases where there is an identified suspect -- an acquaintance or some former dating relationship. those cases, the dna is -- those
11:54 am
investigations don't always ride on the dna analysis because often through other investigative methods it's determined through the victim and the known suspect that there was an act committed but there is question about whether or not there was consent. that aside, all sexual assault case samples that we collect are eligible for submissions to coatist. we are permitted to enter their profile into coatist because there may be one instance where the suspect is known, if that is committed this act once, it's very likely that they have committed the crime some where else. we might be able to solve the case by connecting them with their profile in that system. the range that we have for testing for sexual assault cases right
11:55 am
now, again i ask to some of our partner elaborates -- lab oratory in our bay area, our turn around time is 19 weeks which is just a little bit shy of 5 months. the bay area average anybody where from 4-6 months. so we are right in the center of that range. i searched and asked at every possible avenue that i could to get a national figure for an average and i could not get one for this evening. >> those cases are not submitted outside for testing, they are done in our lab. the one that you mentioned the average is 5 months. >> that's our average. >> okay. then you indicated
11:56 am
also that all sexual analysis kits are tested and you said that some don't come to you. are all the sexual assault kits submitted to you in the crime lab for testing? >> every swab that is taken as a result of the sa c program come out. any kit that is sent to the crime lab, any request we get is tested. >> so you have all, are there any untested sexual assault kits that the crime lab currently has that are not in the cue of the 9 that are pending? >> no there are not. >> okay. shockingly i don't have anymore questions.
11:57 am
>> mr. terman? >> is there is a prioritization difference in known suspect cases where there is an identified issue of whether there is consent or not and there is an issue as to whether or not it's an act. is there a difference between those two? >> captain fox would be the best to address that commissioner. >> yes, in suspect cases where the suspect is known to the victim, if there is any discrepancy about whether any sexual act occurred, absolutely, that dna is prioritized to the level of an unknown suspect because we need that to move forward to get justice for the survivor as quickly as possible. that would be request from us to the lab to place that in his cue for testing. in the case for the known suspect where the
11:58 am
survivor knows her attacker, a lot of times evidence for the dna would not be incriminating because both parties admitting that they have contact with each other. those are not prioritized testing because the probe ative value of that test is really low and it's not needing to make a case. >> but we do test those kits, but it could be up to 5 months, is that what i'm hearing? >> the kits for a known suspect where a consent is an issue? >> this they would be tested if there is any discrepancy or where physical contact occurred. >> i just want to make sure i under. so in a situation where there is no question as to
11:59 am
whether or not there was sexual contact, but the question is, is to whether or not it was consensual. how long -- does that kit necessarily get tested? >> our policy, commissioner is that we test all kits. now a kit like that, if we have to prioritize and we have to triage like the officer said because if we know who the individual is, the investigation , climbing the wall for the investigation is an unknown suspect is a steeper climb. but we test all kits. that is our policy, that's our mandate and that's what we do. >> okay. how long will it take us just in the prioritization chain, how long will it take us to test the kit? >> the range we have is
12:00 pm
anywhere from 2 weeks to 9 months. >> before we conclude, i want to say you have done an slept excellent job with this presentation. you have a better handle with the crime lab. you seem to have got a grasp of all the science involved. what's involved in both with law enforcement and the science side and the legal side when it goes before the court's. i have to tell you that you have done a great job. most people don't know this and i'm not going to embarrass you, but five years ago, you were an undercover with